Streets in the centre of Rome were blocked on Wednesday night (24 September) when thousands of Italians turned out to demonstrate against the death sentenced passed on eleven urban guerrillas in Spain.
TV & SV Demonstrators in procession through street, holding aloft portraits of Basques (3 shots)
SV Demonstrators with flags and banners
CU PAN UP FROM Portrait of Basque prisoner TO Carlos Elviro addressing rally in Spanish and crowd applauding (2 shots)
Initials BB/2130 EW/MR/BB/2200
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Background: Streets in the centre of Rome were blocked on Wednesday night (24 September) when thousands of Italians turned out to demonstrate against the death sentenced passed on eleven urban guerrillas in Spain.
The demonstration--which attracted a crowed of about 10,000--was organised by the three main Italian trade unions and supported by several political parties including the two biggest, the Christian Democrats and the Communists.
At the head of the protest rally as it moved through the city centre, demonstrators carried large portraits of the condemned guerrillas and a banner reading "Let us save the lives of the Spanish patriots." Most of the 11 convicted are Basque activists, including two pregnant women. They have been sentenced to death by garrotte... an iron collar which fits round the neck of the condemned and is tightened to cause death.
Exiled Spanish trade union organiser Carlos Elviro addressed the rally in the city centre.
The death sentence on six of the eleven prisoners has been approved by Spanish military authorities, it was reported in Madrid on Wednesday. On Thursday (25 September) the Spanish Cabinet met to prepare for a session on the following day which might set the date for the executions. There have been protests against the sentences in several countries.